Flood waters are receding, but the challenges in recovery for farmers and livestock producers are just beginning. Beth Doran, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach beef specialist, recommends producers get out in their fields as soon as possible. "Beef producers should assess the damage to pastures and hay ground, then check out possible disaster assistance," she said. Doran advised cattlemen to look for three things in their assessment - debris, silt on the forage, and thinned or dead forage plants.
One major investment for a horse farm are installation and upkeep of fences. The fence should be safe and keep horses on the property. Fencing decisions should be based on the age of the animal, breed and temperament of the animal, production system, and situation.
Looking at dairy cattle as an alternative enterprise for your operation? Iowa State University Extension and Outreach has compiled information that may be of assistance.
One fast growing trend among small farms is raising poultry. Typically, poultry offers a small-scale livestock enterprise without requiring large amounts of capital, land, time or equipment. Careful planning and preparation prior to your poultry's arrival will help ensure the establishment of a healthy flock for your family's enjoyment and food production.
Winter is a great time for spring planning of pastures - both those that are new and those planned for production. This article summarizes a bulletin from ISU Extension and Outreach on the various costs of pasture improvements and pasture/forage management.
Biennial thistles are commonly found in Iowa's pastures, roadsides, CRP and other un-tilled areas. Musk (Carduus nutans ) and bull (Cirsium vulgare) thistle are exotic species (originate from outside of North America) and are responsible for the majority of problems caused by this group of plants. Read more about identification, characteristics and removal methods.
If you've decided to invest in hay equipment for your acreage needs, learn more about the types of mowers, rakes and balers available, as well as the advantages and disadvantages to each type.
Sheep and goats offer a low-cost entry for beginning livestock farmers and can be stocked at higher rates on smaller pastures than cattle. Sheep and goats provide meat, milk and fiber products, as well as brush control and pasture improvement services.
Fencing costs are one of the most expensive aspects of livestock grazing. The type of fence constructed greatly impacts the cost per foot, total cost, and annual ownership cost. This publication compares the costs of building a quarter-mile (1,320 feet) straight perimeter fence with four different types of permanent fencing plus temporary interior fencing.
An animal is considered grass-fed, according to the USDA Grass Fed Marketing Claim Standards, when grass and forage are the “feed source consumed for the lifetime of the ruminant animal, with the exception of milk consumed prior to weaning.